LISBON – A discount merchandiser plans to open a new store in the Mid-Town Shopping Plaza, filling the space once occupied by Rite Aid.

Family Dollar, a discount retailer, expects to open in early September.

“We think Lisbon Falls will be a great market for us,” said Josh Braverman, spokesman for the North Carolina-based company. “We believe it is underserved by other retailers.”

There are no other general merchandise chain stores in town, said Rosie Bradley, economic development director.

Family Dollar will occupy about 10,000 square feet of the strip mall, making it one of the chain’s bigger stores, Braverman said. Rite Aid left its former space in 2007 after it built a much bigger store across the street.

The area is developing into a retail hub for the town, as a new super-sized Aubuchon Hardware store expects to open this fall across from Rite Aid. The home improvement store is waiting on final traffic permits from the state before it can open, said Bradley.

Once the new building is complete, Aubuchon’s current location – adjacent to Family Dollar – will close.

“We have been talking to other retailers about that space, but there’s nothing firm,” Bradley said. She said she has talked to Reny’s, which the town has been trying to lure for years.

“They’re very specific about what they need for a building,” she said. “We’re trying to be creative.”

Many national retailers have stepped back from expansion plans citing the sluggish economy. But Braverman said an economic slowdown benefits companies like Family Dollar, which focus on value.

“In this economy, people look to discount retailers,” he said.

The store offers apparel, food, housewares, hardware and general merchandise. Braverman said most of the inventory sells for under $10, but there are some items like pre-paid cell phones that are priced between $10 and $25.

The Lisbon store joins 44 others in Maine, part of a chain of 6,500 throughout the country. A new store is planned for Bridgton after the first of the year, Braverman said.

Family Dollar reported sales of almost $6 billion through 10 months of this fiscal year.

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